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Literature Link

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse


Kevin Henkes


Lilly loves everything about school, especially her teacher, Mr. Slinger—until he takes away her musical purse because she can’t stop playing with it in class. Lilly decides to get revenge with a nasty drawing of “Big Fat Mean Mr. Stealing Teacher!” But when she finds the kind note he put in her purse, she’s filled with remorse and has to find a way to make things right again. This book demonstrates the importance of respect in times of anger.

Character Education Focus:

  • When you are angry about something, it is best to think about it for a while, and then react in a respectful manner.

Reading Objective:


  • Describe the main character, Lilly, and identify what she did that was disrespectful.
  • Discuss what happened in the story to make Lilly feel bad about her disrespectful behavior during class and why is it important to be
           respectful to others—even if you are angry.


Prepare Purple Purses/Pouches:

  • The learners will make purple purses (girls) and purple pouches (boys). Each child gets a ziploc bag (sandwich or quart size). Give each
           child a folded piece of purple construction paper that will slide into the baggie—with the fold at the bottom of the baggie. Bend and
           twist on a purple or black pipe cleaner to holes poked into the top sides of the baggie. This will be the handle. Print out labels for
           students to stick on their purse/pouch. Example: John’s Purple Pouch or Julie’s Purple Purse.

Writing Objective: The learners will write and draw about how to be kind. (i.e., students may draw a picture of them walking their dog and write the words “Walk dog.”) Add these kind pictures to their purse/pouch and share at a community meeting.

Reading/Foundation Skills Objective:
The learners will work on words that begin with the letter “P”.

Brainstorm and write students’ ideas of “P” words on chart paper. Give each child four small pieces of white paper. Next, students draw four pictures of something that begins with a P. Add these papers to their purple purses/pouches. When students are finished, share the pictures with the class. HINT: Continue that activity at home. Write a parent note and explain that students will need to look through magazines, newspapers, or on the Internet to find four more pictures that begin with the letter “P” and add these to their purple purses pouches. All students bring these back the following day and will “pair and share” with four different partners (or more, if time).

ASCA:A:A1.4 Accept mistakes as essential to the learning process.

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